Just a little Sparkle + Yet another way to wear your classic white button up.

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Of course Ham (one of my two pups) snuck his tail in this shot.

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Also….due to an eye infection and my current low supply of contact lenses until I visit the States in November, I’ve resorted to wearing my glasses again. Bringing back memories of my 7 year old ridiculous mess.

I can’t help but be a little jealous of the overload of social media postings about floating the river, wake-boarding, lake swimming, parades, and 4th of July festivities. Not to mention barbecues that seem to be endless and the beautiful firework displays (tomorrow). Don’t get me wrong…I basically live in endless summer. Uganda’s climate it basically perfect (if you subtract about 70% of the 89% humidity). Sun all year round with intermittent rainy seasons, and the occasional temperature under 65 degrees fahrenheit. But….basic weather is something like 75-85 degrees fahrenheit with sun and cloud breaks. Really…I can’t complain.

Still when I see American summer my heart hurts a little. Mostly due to all the memories I have growing up in the PNW hiking, swimming, running through sprinklers, consuming endless amounts of otter pops, driving with the windows down and music blasting in true summer fashion. Ahh…here I am living in the land of no otter pops but with sun to fill all your hearts desires (except today on my day off when swimming was on the agenda…of course today is overcast).

Now to the goods. Ever since I picked up this white button up top a few weeks ago….I can’t get over how perfect it is. The detailed crochet collar and details beg me to wear it every time I look in my closet. I picked up this sequined spaghetti strap midi dress at the Monday market the same day I snagged this perfect white top from my previous post. It has the same 30 cent price tag. Who can resist clothes for less than a dollar??? Not to mention these dark maroon/purple shoes care of my mother-in-law on my last visit to the states (thanks Mom!).

The endless possibilities of a basic white shirt are endless. This being the first one I’ve owned in at least the last 10 years. It dawned on me the other day that I graduated high school 10 years ago. Officially making me in my late 20’s. Sigh. But things are looking good this side of life (though I never really imaged myself at this age, in my mind I skipped from 20 straight to OLD). Back to the shirt, I used to stay as far away from white clothing as possible, especially in the last few years since living in Uganda where the red dirt/dust that gets everywhere. But I’ve now come to the conclusion there’s nothing a little bleach can’t fix.

My husband thinks he’s hilarious. In most cases he is. He loves/hates being my photographer.

In the next few weeks I’ll be experimenting with other outfit choices. What’s your favorite way to wear your basics?

It’s all in the details + Structured Top with Distressed Denim

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I am not at all a perfectionist. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.

Don’t get me wrong, I like things done right, but I like when other people put effort into the tiny details. I can appreciate what they did and thank God that I didn’t have to. As someone that loves crafts and using my creative brain this sometimes doesn’t make sense. How can you enjoy embroidery if you don’t like details and don’t work hard to make your embroidery perfect? Do simple projects. Quickly finished in less than an hour or two. I’m an instant gratification kind of person….not a pour over something for hours and days. But when it comes to clothes I can definitely appreciate the little things.

Check out this top I picked up the Monday market nearest my home. Read my previous post for more details about the market. Still only 1,000/= (or $0.30). Holla at this win of a shirt.

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What I’m wearing: similar sleeveless white shirt, long sleeve version here, distressed boyfriend jeans, and similar leather oxfords

I’m not a perfectionist and also not normally one for button-ups or white shirts. But lately I’ve been digging the classic clean style. Paired with these bleach distressed jeans and leather flats really takes the edge off the “stiff” look of the white shirt.

How do you pair your white button-ups? I love the multi-purpose-ness of this shirt that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Market Challenge + DIY Cute Pocket

In April I started doing what I call the “Market Challenge” (read this post for more info). On my last trip to the local market nearest to my home I picked up this top along with a few others (one of them that I removed the decorative detail from to add to the top of this pocket for extra intrigue). This top was 1,000/=. That looks like a lot but in dollars it’s approximately thirty cents. WINNING!

I loved the striped pattern and ruffled edged sleeves/cap…and with that price how can you say no? After bringing it home and trying it on I saw that it was missing something. DUH! A pocket! Who doesn’t love pockets? But what color/type of pocket? I had the larger striped material lying around from a top I got from the same market about a year ago, it has sat in my sewing pile for some time waiting for me create something new with it. This was the perfect opportunity!

I used a sewing machine for this project, but if you don’t have one a needle and some thread will work too!

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What do you think? Are there any small or easy things that you do to transform any articles of clothing into creative pieces of art?

Ruffled Stripes + DIY Embroidered Jeans

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This particular season in life has been a busy one. A week and a half ago I was spending 14 hours a day with 500+ young people. It was a phenomenal 3 days spent worshiping God together with so many others. Being that the youth ministry my husband and I lead was the one putting on the conference….we were a bit busy in the weeks leading up to it and days of the event itself. That said…the days and hours of being frazzled from busyness were worth it!

Exactly one week ago….last Monday….on my day off I started trying my hand at embroidery. Since then I’ve made a cute couch pillow with “love” embroidered on the front, a baby shower gift of two framed embroidered words, and added some character to my already DIY’d jeans. Embroidery is much easier than I expected, and although I’m a amateur in every sense of the word it’s so and fulfilling. Giving a great sense of accomplishment after a simple project is finished! Something that I love, feeling accomplished after completing a project that took 30 minutes 🙂

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I tried 2 different types of embroidering. A zig-zag stitch as pictured here.

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And a straight stitch as pictured here. Don’t mind my dog sniffing my rear.

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Check out these links for some awesome embroidered denim:

Flowered Embroidered Mid-Rise Jean (I love these ones!)

Rolled Cuff Embroidered Jean

Tribal Embroidered Jean (My fav and the best deal of these 3)

Do you have an current favs? Or simple embroidery ideas? I’d love to try them out!

 

Make-it Monday: Unisex T-shirt Turned Crop-top

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Ever since I can remember I’ve been snipping, spray painting, sewing, dyeing and ripping my way through life as far as clothes go. My mom taught one of my older brothers and I how to sew when I was young (maybe 9 years old?)…our first project obviously being pajama pants. That’s a given for anyone that has ever learned how to sew in America. Her creativity, is what I think, jumpstarted my creative mind. She gave me liberty and license to use my imagination and let me use her sewing machine and whatever other sewing supplies she had in the house. My mom never yelled at me over broken needles or whatever else she had to fix after my mishaps, if you know her, you know that she is literally the best.

I love being able to use the creative mind my mom gave me as an outlet. Life is sometimes too busy, too stressful, too tiring, too “have-to” that if I don’t use my brain to do something creative I feel too stuck in a box. Whether it’s at work or at home, when I get to use my hands and mind to create something it’s takes me out of the “have-to” mindset and reminds me that I “get to”. I get to live an awesome life. I have an awesome husband, I have awesome friends, am apart of an awesome church, serve an awesome God and live in an awesome country. It’s amazing how doing something you’re made (or just love) to do can give you a better perspective on life (spending of time with Jesus helps too).

Back to “Make-it Monday”. The shirt that I’m transforming in this blog is one that I got to design (hooray for getting to be creative at work) for the upcoming youth conference put on by the youth ministry that my husband and I lead out of Life Church here on this side of the world. It is your basic unisex t-shirt and every year I like to make mine unique to me.

Here’s a picture after cutting and pinning before sewing.

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I cut the bottom off of a black slip that was too long for all my skirts and used it to add contrast and flair to the design. Trimming up and folding, then sewing in and up the sleeves was an added bonus. In unisex sizes I generally wear a size small but I bought a large to be sure that I could cut and sew as I pleased.

And here’s the finished product.

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Obviously no outside pictures at my house are complete without at least one of my dogs joining in.

Sometimes people don’t realize how easy it is to make something your own or add your own personal touch to something that a million other people own to make it one-of-a-kind. I love doing things like this! What do you do to use your brain for fun and creativity?

 

Wardrobe Wednesday: Market Challenge

In past posts I’ve mentioned the local Monday market near my home, just outside of Kampala, Uganda. It is packed full of clothes, shoes, fruits, vegetables, and numerous other random things. One Wednesday in a month I’ll be posting the results of that month’s Market Challenge. I love games/challenges, great deals and clothes. What could be better than a combination of all three? Below are the rules that I will be abiding by. In the future I may include guests in these posts.

Market Challenge guidelines:

  1. $3 limit (10,000 Uganda Shillings)
  2. 1 hour
  3. The best outfit possible

Disclaimer: Shoes will not be included.

Hope you enjoy the journey with me. Are there any secret hot spots for bargain deals near you? What has been your experience? Here are the results of my first ever Wardrobe Wednesday: Market Challenge.

OUTFIT #1

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  1. Striped Front-Button Maxi/Midi Dress: $0.56 USD (2,000ugx)
  2. Shoes (bought from Buckle last time I was in the States)

It could use a few alterations to make it a bit more flattering as far as the fit goes. Most likely I’ll wear it a few times then pass it along to a friend.

OUTFIT #2

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  1. Striped Faux Front-Button Midi Skirt:  $0.56 USD (2,000ugx)
  2. Long black tank (tank dress) (bought from Forever21 approximately four years ago)
  3. Shoes (same as above)

This one needs a through washing to get out a small stain on the back waistband. I really like it! I think it’s cute, on-trend and flattering.

It’s amazing what you can find for a steal when you take the time to look.

P.S. This is the first post with the camera that my husband commissioned my family to help buy me for my birthday last week. He was the photographer. It will be a journey for me to learn how to shoot and edit pictures, but I am very excited. Any tips? I can use all the help I can get!

Everything Black: A Saga

Black is slimming, so they say.

Black goes with everything.

If you can’t decide what to wear, wear black, it’s so classic.

 

For whatever reason it is….black is back. Not that black ever left, but currently (ok…it’s been about two years now) it’s in constant rotation in my closet. I feel as if I’ve made a switch from loving brighter colors and prints to loving wearing black and more muted, plain clothes. All day, everyday. It’s not that I don’t wear colors or prints at all, but only if all my black clothes are dirty. Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not goth….but I feel good in it and it just goes well for nearly every occasion.

There are so many ways to mix and match. Here are selections from a few different occasions.

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Try adding a color pop, different textures, a hat or other great accessory to give your monotone look some depth. My current favorite add in colors are gold, white/cream and maroon. What do you do to add flair to your look?

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A week in hair: some call it styles some call it a jungle up there.

RAW and REAL: eyes closed, eyes opened, glasses, one shoulder that goes up, one shoulder that goes down and the fact that my husband took one snap of each angle make these pictures come to life.

Monday Hair: Day off hair. Leftover Sunday hair with a baseball cap…pretty basic and also pretty typical that showering and hair doing doesn’t happen on most given Mondays.

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Tuesday Hair: quick shower and rush out the door with a top knot. Pretty basic work week hair that happens more often than I’d like to admit. Not sure what’s going on with my eyes….one normal eye and one squinty eye.

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Wednesday Hair: This particular Wednesday is leftover Tuesday top knot hair….immediately after seeing my hair in the side profile picture I bobby pinned it back into a top knotted half up look rather than only the tiny top knot on top….for obvious reasons. It looks terrible! My bad! Not to mention the obvious grow-out from when I tried toning my hair after back to ashy two months after getting it professionally done (which was now 6 months ago). Who knew that toner and 20volume developer would actually lighten ALL of my hair and leave a gross grow out line after the stylist had made a perfectly blended line of demarcation??

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Thursday Hair: Still half wet and naturally wavy/curlyish with a bit of some sort of salty-textured hair mist. As the day went on ti only got bigger and bigger…as usual (especially in the SUPER humid climate that I live in)

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Friday Hair: A continuation of Thursday hair….because it’s unhealthy to wash your hair everyday right??

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Saturday Hair: This was only the first half of Saturday…but my husband was running out the door earlier than I was and it was my only chance not to miss Saturday’s hair pic. I promise I showered after going on a run (yay me!)….and my hair ended up in a top knot as usual. Also featuring my granny glasses which rarely make it out of the house these days.

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Sunday Hair: Basically the only day in the week that I ever use any hair styling accessory. I’d like to think that I do my hair fairly often….but the truth is that most mornings I’m not willing to get up early enough to fit in “hair doing time”. This Sunday I put less effort than normal into my Sunday hair…but still managed to curl a few pieces before trowing it back into a messy bun as I ran out the door.

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Have any tips on how you easily/quickly style your hair in 5 minutes or less? Help a sister out!